KOTA KINABALU: The number of people suffering from eye and respiratory infections has increased sharply in the severely haze hit Beaufort and Kuala Penyu districts in southwestern Sabah.
State Health Department director Dr Christina Rundi said 310 cases of conjunctivitis, upper respiratory tract infections and asthma were reported over the past three days in Beaufort.
In comparison, 346 cases of such infections were recorded in the district for the whole of last week.
She said the situation was even more acute in Kuala Penyu where there were 61 respiratory infections over the past three days compared to just four cases last week.
Christina said clinics and hospitals in other southwestern districts including Papar and Sipitang had also recorded a sharp increase in the number of people reporting from similar problems.
She reminded the public to reduce outdoor activities.
In a related development, cloud seeding operations over Sabah’s west coast began at about midday on Thursday with a Royal Malaysian Air Force C130 aircraft taking to the air carrying four salt water tanks.
Labuan Meteorological Office director Donis Gunting said each tank contained about 1, 500 litres of solution to be sprayed into the towering cumulus clouds over Beaufort, Menumbok, Membakut, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Penampang, Kota Kinabalu and Tuaran.
The overall haze situation over Sabah’s west coast has improved with Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort recording moderate air quality ranging between 53 and 57 on the Air Pollutant Index.